Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer at a Systems Engineering class at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. It was a chance to give back and help the local professors bring business executives on campus. Whenever I do this at high schools or universities, I provide my unsolicited public service announcement to the student population that most progressive companies now do a social media search during their hiring process.
When I shared the insight I provided with my wife (herself a SVP of HR at USIS), she gave me an interesting perspective. There was no doubt that most companies are now performing a social media job candidate search. But rather than coaching students to clean up their Facebook, MySpace, Second Life, YouTube and Flickr (etc) postings, the right coaching is to teach them how to manage these sources to create the positive image that potential employers are looking for. Make sure it includes accomplishments, trips to academic events, photos of awards and other positive things.
Have you had the opportunity to coach and mentor on this topic? What advice are you giving?